Feature

Tom Ridge: Politicizing fear

Bush's Homeland Security secretary says he was pressured to raise threat levels to get his boss reelected

In case you needed a reminder of how fortunate we are to be rid of Team Bush, said Rod Dreher in BeliefNet, former Bush Homeland Security secretary in an upcoming book admits that he was pressured into raising the terrorism threat level in 2004 to help Dubya get reelected. "To be fair, this is being widely denied by the ex-Bushies. Who you gonna believe?"

Certainly not Tom Ridge, said conservative commentator Michelle Malkin in her blog. Ridge himself told The New York Times he "suspected" there was an effort to influence the vote, but had no evidence. So now he's "fudging" to hype his soon-to-be-released book -- "what a weasel."

George W. Bush's "staunchest defenders" will do everything they can to discredit Tom Ridge, said Joe Gandelman in The Moderate Voice, but Ridge's book is bound to be a "real blow" to Bush’s legacy. Historians will sift through the conflicting versions of events. "And the fact Ridge was a rising Republican star and head of Homeland Security will likely mean that the verdict will be: the terror alerts were likely used in some instances as a political tool."

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